Sometimes individuals see music as something only a trained professional can do or teach. In learning a specific instrument and to one day perform or teach it for a living you may be right. However, there are some things you can do as a parent, relative or teacher to help young children learn about the world around them through music.
Having a background and a degree in music can give you a distinct advantage, but as I have also worked with young children for many years (not only as a librarian but as a Teaching Artist for Tales & Scales) I quickly learned that the children do not come to your program to grade you on how proficient you are in music, they come to have fun! And we as educators should make it fun. But if you are not sure about picking up an instrument or have never palyed one before, try using hand-helds or other various percussion instruments! There is never a time that I haven't had at least one child go for my hand-held instrument's before going to my violin. These are such useful tools in teaching not only musical terms such as dynamics and rhythm, but they are also very useful for creating a whole different world. When reading a story to a child, don't just read it...interact within the story to the child. This week's theme for Music Mania is Animals. One of the various songs we will be singing is about different animals and one of them just happens to be a rattlesnake. I would then ask a child to pick out an instrument that best represents a rattlesnake. Generally they would go for the maraca's and just shake it. However, this just won't do during Music Mania...you can't just shake the maraca's to be a snake, you have to TRANSFORM into the snake (this is the part where they crawl all over the floor and shake the maraca's). You can use this example for other animals as well. A tambourine can be transformed into a dog collar by placing it around your neck as you bark like a dog.
Teaching music appreciation can be fun! Don't be worried about looking silly, just have fun with it!